The Gophers baseball team, in contention for its second Big Ten regular-season title in a row, lost twice to Purdue on Friday at Siebert Field before winning a third game 9-2. That kept Minnesota’s fading title hopes alive, but they need Nebraska to lose Saturday and, for an outright title, Michigan, too.
The Gophers and Boilermakers first completed a game suspended after 7½ innings from Thursday night by a power outage. At the time, Purdue led 5-2 and that score stayed the same. Ben Mezzenga had a two-run single for the Gophers in the fifth, but they had only two other hits.
Purdue won the second game 11-1, scoring five runs in the second inning. The Gophers’ lone run came on Micah Coffey’s sacrifice fly in the third.
In the third game, which completed Minnesota’s conference season, Eddie Estrada drove in four runs on two-run singles in the fourth and fifth innings.
The top three teams after Friday’s games were Nebraska at 15-7-1, and Minnesota and Michigan, tied at 15-8. The Huskers play at Penn State and the Wolverines at Michigan State.
MSU falls in softball
No. 2 Harding defeated visiting No. 6 Minnesota State Mankato 3-2 to even their best-of-three series in an NCAA Division II super regional in Searcy, Ark.
Harding (58-8) scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning for the victory. The second of those runs came home on an error.
The Mavericks, who won the series opener 1-0 in 10 innings, scored once in the first on an error and the other run in the sixth on Amber Kral’s single.
Coley Ries, who took the loss, allowed only four hits and struck out five.
The deciding game of the series will be at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winner will advance to the NCAA Championships May 25-29 in Salem, Va.
St. Thomas defeated Macalester 2-1 in 11 innings in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional losers’ bracket in Whitewater, Wis. Hunter Hart’s single drove in the eventual winning run in the top of the 11th. Freshman reliever Shawn Falbo got the win.